There is so much to do these days that it can be difficult to get enough rest. When I talk about rest I don't just mean sleep, although of course that is important. I'm talking about taking time out to let our mind wander, to stop our body from moving and doing things, to remove ourselves from our daily demands, slow our breathing and just take the time to let our body and mind recharge themselves.
We might need to give ourselves special permission to get this kind of rest. Sometimes we wait until we get sick and then our body forces us to take some rest. Often we think we will just do one more thing then rest. The rest may not come because there's always one more thing to be done.
We might be in the habit of waiting until holidays or until our work tasks have been completed before allowing ourselves to rest. It might be only when we are on holidays or away from home that we feel that we can really switch off and recharge ourselves. Of course we know that the longer we go without the rest the longer we might need to recover.
One of the greatest challenges of our lives at the moment is to manage our technology so that we get the benefit from it while not allowing ourselves to become consumed by it. It's easy to get this out of balance, particularly if we use technology for work and at home and we enjoy being connected through social media.
So how can we begin to make some changes to enable ourselves to get some rest on a regular basis, not just when we are exhausted or when the long awaited holiday comes from? A five step plan might be useful. Firstly we might make sure we have a mindset or attitude that gives ourselves permission to rest.
Secondly we need to work out what will practically work for us. If we have young children we will need to plan this carefully. We might use their sleep time to also rest. We might pick them up from childcare 1/2 hour later than we need to to give ourselves that time for rest. We might ask someone to care for the children while we rest. If we work long hours we might find ways during the work day to take ourselves away from our work space and sit quietly.
Thirdly we need to work out what we mean by rest - what it is that we find restful. Perhaps it's meditation, perhaps it's a bath, perhaps it's just having a lie down. Anything that rests our mind and body will work.Fourthly building the rest in to our regular routine will stop that build up that places more stress on our body and mind. Fifthly finding ways to continue to discover new ways to rest and encourage others to do so will help us to feel more positive and healthy.
As we begin to take on rest in our daily routine we will start to feel the benefit and be motivated to continue to do it. We might then wonder how we ever managed without the rest.